LITTLEPORT: Council Installs CCTV at Play Park To Deal Wtih Vandalism

PUBLISHED: 12:58 29 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:51 04 May 2010

VANDALS have forced a parish council to install CCTV in a children s play area. Councillors in Littleport voted unanimously to put up the cameras at the Parsons Lane play area after equipment worth tens of thousands of pounds was damaged. Lynda Clarke-Jon

VANDALS have forced a parish council to install CCTV in a children's play area.

Councillors in Littleport voted unanimously to put up the cameras at the Parsons Lane play area after equipment worth tens of thousands of pounds was damaged.

Lynda Clarke-Jones, clerk to the parish council, said it was a "shame".

"The cameras have been ordered and I have just sent a letter to the security company confirming we have permission of the property owner to install them," she said.

"The equipment that was damaged cost £35,000 a few years ago. We have now got some new, additional equipment through the Government's Pathfinder Scheme, which cost £40,000 and the last thing we want is to see it damaged by the few people who think it is ok to do that sort of thing. It is a shame that we have had to do this, but hopefully, the cameras will act as a deterrent."

She explained that although the cameras will record 24 hours a day, they will not be regularly watched by the council.

Mrs Clarke-Jones assured any parents concerned about their children being filmed: "It will not be a case of someone sitting here everyday, 'ogling' children."

Footage of any criminal damage being carried out will be handed to the police to be used as evidence.

A final cost for the project has yet to be confirmed.

However, Mrs Clarke-Jones said: "The parish council has a budget for CCTV systems but there are several budgets we can take the cost from, such as the one for play areas."

She added: "The children absolutely love the new equipment. I had a meeting at the park recently and when the children came out of the school they ran straight to the play area. It was full of children and a great thing to see.

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